We Can Work It Out

Fellas, let me just apologize to you both right now for what I did on Tuesday, and I can promise you that if you let me back on the air, just for the final week of episodes, it’ll certainly never happen again. Rick and Tony, you both have been there for me since I walked into this office twenty-nine years ago with an idea and a bit of gumption, and you have my word that I’ll never embarrass you again. The thing is, I just snapped. I mean, I have six thousand and twelve tapings of Was Liam Neeson in Lord of the Rings, Yes or No? under my belt, and I’ve asked that question of our fine contestants approximately two hundred and forty thousand times, and on Tuesday I simply lost it. I don’t know what to tell you. Seriously, you would think that in this age when Google 7 can tell you anything you want to know just by pointing a barcode scanner at the part of your head where the question is being formed, people would have kind of figured this one out by now and wouldn’t need a minute and forty-five seconds of video conference deliberation with their spinster aunt in St. Louis to crack the freaking code. But this show is my life, and if you’ll just let me close out the final taping with a little dignity, I’d be indebted. And of course I’ll both apologize to the FCC and make full restitution to Mrs. Shrebnikov out of my own pocket for the blouse I ruined when I threw those hot dogs at her. If it reassures you, as of yesterday I’m on a drug called Zalpepitol-G which soothes my nerves and sort of flattens out all foreign accents so they’re not so jarring.

Onward and upward, I always say--what I’ve envisioned for the series finale is kind of special. First of all, the curtain rises on a dark set, after which I come out in a spotlight flanked by young children and sing a rousing version of “We Built This City.” Then Liam Neeson himself emerges and I ask him the famous question personally, and when he answers, the set is suddenly lit up by a rushing circle of fire! Men dressed in firefighters’ garb rush out to douse the blaze, and after the applause has died down, they take off their hats to reveal--you’ve got it--the starting lineup of the World Champion 2005 Chicago White Sox. It’s at this point that I shout to the audience, “There’s nothing that a dream can’t conquer!” and the staff of the show joins me on stage for a ritual milk bath to wash away twenty-nine years of togetherness, comraderie, and sexual tension. The most interesting part? None of this will be in color.

I may have taken more Zalpepitol-G than I was supposed to, now that I think about it. The dosage size is sort of confusing because it comes in pasta form.